June 17 • 11:42 AM

Triple overtime thriller

Almont holds off Capac, 63-61

Anthony Closurdo, of Capac, looks to pass the ball to a teammate under pressure from Almont’s Ben McNally during their BWAC basketball clash this past week. Almont won the contest, prevailing in a clash lasting three overtimes. photo by Kevin Kissane.

January 28, 2009
TRI-CITY AREA — Steve McClure hit a pair of free throw attempts with 15.6 seconds remaining, lifting Almont to a 63-61 triple overtime win against visiting Blue Water Area Conference varsity boys' basketball rival Capac on Tuesday, January 20.

With the decision, Almont improves to 3-6 and 2-2. Capac falls to 4-5 and 1-3.

"We knew coming in that it would not be an easy game for us," Almont Coach Alex Maier said. "As you can tell by the final score those suspicions proved correct," he emphasized.

"This was our third win in a row. I hope we can carry that momentum over to the next game."

On the opposite sideline, Capac Coach Bob Shoemaker applauded his team's effort.

"It was a great game for the fans to watch," Shoemaker said. "The outcome stayed up for grabs all the way," he noted.

"We must regroup and come out hard for this Friday's (January 23) road game with Algonac. I expect it to be a competitive game as well."

In Tuesday's contest, Capac took an 11-8 edge after one quarter was complete.

The next eight-minute stretch would prove a close one as well.

It was there Capac netted 16 points, while allowing Almont 15.

That left Capac holding a 27-23 edge at the halftime break.

When the action resumed, Almont struck for a 15-11 third quarter edge.

That squared the scoreboard count at 38 points per side at the 24-minute mark.

Quarter number four would prove a back and forth affair as well, with neither squad able to muster adequate breathing room.

It was there Almont went ahead 50-48 on a Ben McNally layup during the closing seconds, only to see Capac's Josh Harvey counter with a pair of pressure-packed foul shots on the possesion that followed.

That made it a 50-all ballgame at the completion of regulation play.

The first overtime session saw Almont and Capac net five points apiece.

That made it a 55-all ballgame.

The second overtime session saw Almont and Capac collect five points apiece.

That made it a 59-59 contest as yet another overtime awaited the combatants.

The third overtime session would see both side's rooting sections need just the edge of their bleacher seats as well.

It was there the contest continued to go back and forth, neither side willing to give an inch in their pursuit of victory.

With just under 20 seconds remaining, and the score knotted at 61, Almont drove to the basket with hopes of acquiring the go-ahead points.

Their field goal attempt failed to connect, but a McClure rebound kept Almont's hopes of attaining that goal alive.

He tried to convert the miss, but was fouled by Capac and awarded two foul shots.

McClure, who uncharacteristically missed all four of his free throw attempts up until then, took the ball from the official and studied the target in front of him. He drained the first effort and the second met with a similar fate.

That made it 63-61, Almont, at the time. The only question was whether or not the Raiders could hold on.

Almont then spent a timeout, hoping to avoid a quick counterattack by Capac.

On the ensuing offensive series, Capac pushed the ball up the floor with plans of collecting the equalizer. Second by second the clock ticked down, heightening the drama further.

With just over five seconds remaining, Capac attempted a shot which missed its mark. Both sides chased the ball and it was deflected out of bounds.

The official decided it was last touched by an Almont player, giving Capac one last opportunity to extend the game a bit longer.

Capac called a timeout so that they could plot some last-second strategy. It had come down to this.

Following the action stoppage, Capac inbounded the basketball again. Rick Jones caught a pass in traffic, elevated and released a jumper from the right baseline.

His effort hit the rim, but did not connect. The final second disappeared off the clock, leaving Almont with a heartstopping 63-61 win to celebrate.

McNally led Almont with a 26-point performance. The Raiders also had Neal Zott (19 points, featuring three treys), Dillon Melly (eight, with a triple), McClure (four) along with Brett McDonald, Aaron May and Brad Showalter (two each) reach the scoring column.

Matt Burgess (18 points, including a pair of trifectas) paced Capac. Their remaining points went to Jones (10, featuring a pair of treys), Anthony Closurdo (seven, with a pair of triples), Josh Messner and Harvey (seven, including a trifecta, each), Mitchell Parks and Mike Opificius (a trey apiece) along with Joe Johnson, Jon Botwin and Jeramie Mirling (two each).

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